Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rush Drummer Passes Away

Original Rush drummer John Rutsey died over the weekend at age 55. Details about what happened have not been released.

Rutsey was on the first Rush album (which includes their first big tune Working Man), before he quit the band because he didn't want to tour and had musical differences with the others.

Neil Peart soon joined and the rest is Rushtory.

Over the years I became curious whatever happened to Rutsey. I ran into this interview with Alex Lifeson, who talked a bit about Rutsey on Rockline:

In a 1989 Rockline interview, Alex Lifeson remarked, "John's still around. I see John quite often. He gave up playing shortly after he left the band and went into bodybuilding. He competed on an amateur level for a while, doing that for a few years, and has sort of been in and out of that, but he still works out, and I work out with him a few times a week at a local gym - at a Gold's, here in Toronto."

In a later interview in the 90s, Alex said he didn't hang out with Rutsey anymore but didn't say why.


VoxMoose said...

Thanks for that update. Strange how we can feel an odd connection to people who were pretty far removed from us just because of some distant, but familiar, creative output (like that first Rush album). For most of us Rush fans, he was always "the other drummer" for Rush, and there was an quirky mythology about him. According to Power Windows News: "Rutsey suffered from diabetes and was unable to go on extended tours with the group."

Don Capone said...

Thanks for passing along this news. I'd always wondered what had become of him. I hope Rush makes an official acknowledgement.

Dr. John said...

Power Window News says he died from a heart attack in his sleep due to diabetes. Not sure if he had juvenille or adult diabetes, but either one can cut your life short. Thanks for the update, Isorski.